The Future of Infrastructure Construction in 2021
May 12, 2021
No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, there’s no denying that America’s infrastructure needs serious help right away. It appears that lawmakers are finally prioritizing investment in critical needs like transportation, water safety, utilities, and bridges. There’s legislation currently being debated that could provide a major influx of federal funds to help the nation’s aging infrastructure.
In an attempt to remain politically neutral, we’ll focus on the pieces of each bill that deal directly with construction.
Proposed American Jobs Plan
President Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan seeks to invest $2 trillion in the country’s infrastructure and buildings. The investment is set to take place over 8 years and will be paid for in 15 years if a revised tax plan is approved.
Here are the highlights from the plan:
- $621 billion to upgrade transportation infrastructure, including highways, roads, bridges, main streets, buses, railcars, stations, airports, and expanding public transit and rail
- $111 billion to eliminate lead piping from the water system
- $100 billion for electrical transmission lines
- $16 billion to cap orphaned oil/gas wells and abandoned mines
- $100 billion to provide broadband internet to every American
- $25 billion to improve childcare facilities
- $100 billion to improve schools
- $18 billion to improve veteran’s facilities
- $70 billion to retrofit/remodel affordable housing units and commercial buildings
Proposed Republican infrastructure plan
Republicans recently countered with their own infrastructure improvement plan. The total cost for this plan is $568 billion.
- $299 billion for roads and bridges
- $65 billion for broadband internet
- $61 billion for public transportation
- $44 billion for airports
- $49 billion for water system improvements
- $20 billion for railroads
- $17 billion to improve ports and inland waterways
State infrastructure plans
In addition to the two proposed federal plans for infrastructure replacement, several states have already passed funding for infrastructure and other construction projects. This is good news for contractors in these areas, as these projects are already funded and should be starting this year.
For example, Northern Arizona University has announced several upcoming projects, including a $130 million new STEM Academic/Research Building, renovation of the Biological Sciences Building, and renovation of the university’s Physical Sciences Building.
In Florida, the Southwest Florida International Airport is planning a large $250 million terminal expansion. The project was delayed for a year due to the pandemic but is set to begin soon. The airport is also constructing passenger boarding bridges at a cost of $45 million.
Infrastructure construction is a critical need
No matter what happens with the two infrastructure proposals from the federal government, it’s clear that states and municipalities need to make an investment in critical infrastructure to keep residents safe and healthy. Locally funded projects are sure to spur a resurgence in the construction economy, especially as lockdowns are lifted and life returns to normal. Many projects were put on the back burner last year will gain new life, ensuring future work for years to come.
Federal funding for infrastructure projects provides good paying jobs for workers across the nation. These projects are desperately needed to keep our society safe and improve the health and welfare of the generations to come.